An accurate measurement is worth a thousand expert opinions, by Team Red Dot’s Irfan Mirza

By Irfan Mirza, Head, Digital Transformation & Integrated Media at Team Red Dot.

Can you guess how much time the average UAE-based user spends on the internet and social media? A whopping 10 hours a day. The era of digital distraction is upon us, and no business is resistant to its impact. Brands must have a holistic measurement plan to fulfil the consumer’s demand.

Whether it’s seeking information on a smartphone, shopping through social media, or binge-watching on a tablet, individuals interact with digital media in various ad formats across a host of platforms every day. This type of usage introduces a great deal of complexity regarding media measurements. Your continuous learnings, results, and optimizations are based on precise and accurate media measurements – and it’s essential to get it right to enhance your key marketing objectives over time.

The only consistent factor in advertising is change – and understanding effective ad measurement grows more critical day by day. Marketers need to listen like never before, and it boils down to having our finger on the pulse. There are three things that compromise marketing measurement accuracy: Speed, Level of Detailing, and Multitouch Attribution (MTA).

1: Speed: In our current digital ecosystem, the ability to react instantly to changing market situations, competitive behaviours, and consumer actions is vital. For example, if your ad group level conversion data is three weeks old, it will not help you make the best decisions for your ongoing paid search campaign. With e-marketer predicting that more than 80 per cent of display ad spend in a developed market will be purchased using programmatic technologies, attribution metrics are more important than ever.

2: Level of detailing: Data that includes collective or market-level information about campaign results isn’t meaningful at the user level. Marketers need granular data to see how to optimize between channels, creatives, and ad formats. Granular intra-platform performance data allows you to establish how each channel performs relative to others and pinpoints where to shift budget to boost outcomes.

3: Multitouch Attribution (MTA): Attribution models let you choose how much credit each ad interaction gets for your conversions. Most advertisers measure the success of their online advertising on a “last click” basis. This means that all the credit is attributed to the last clicked-ad and the corresponding communication/ad format.

A few types of attribution models available are:

  • Last click: Gives all credit for the conversion to the last clicked-ad
  • First click: Gives all credit for the conversion to the first clicked-ad
  • Linear: Distributes the credit for the conversion equally across all ad interactions on the path
  • Time decay: Gives more credit to ad interactions that happened closer in time to the conversion
  • Position-based: Gives 40 per cent of credit to both the first and last ad interactions
  • Data-driven: Distributes credit for the conversion based on your past data

Marketers must ask themselves the following questions:

  • Are we evaluating data from multiple channels in silos?
  • How can we have a unified approach to read data?
  • Is our campaign measurement process leaving any blank traces?
  • How well are we using our first-party data?

To help answer these, let us look at a few of the tools recommended for marketers

Google Analytics: This continues to be one of the best ways to understand how your consumers are behaving on your website or mobile app. It brings together a comprehensive view of user behaviour with machine-learning capability to surface key insights and look into the future with predictive analytics. Its integration with Google ads and Google marketing platforms makes it directly actionable.

Data Studio: This is a great tool to enhance productivity and insight generation and has built-in connectors with Google ads and Google Analytics. Furthermore, you can see your data in real-time, it comes with multiple reporting templates, and it can be customized based on your requirements.

HubSpot: This provides an excellent all-in-one approach to inbound marketing and automation that uses a logical process to take you step-by-step through running campaigns, monitoring, and tracking the whole process. It also has simple SEO tools that monitor your ranking and the traffic you’re getting from specific platforms.

The research is clear; organizations that use data and measurement most effectively have invested in cross-platform tools adopted a privacy-aligned mindset and harnessed insights from machine learning to create more appropriate and engaging experiences for users. Remember, if you can’t measure it, you can’t fix it.